Neil Glynn, who also plays football, goes through growth spurt in baseball for Richards. And then some. ‘It’s just mindset.’

Richards’ Neil Glynn grew to love baseball. Eventually.

Glynn, a senior infielder/pitcher, was more interested in quicker games when he was younger. But as he matured, he realized baseball was the sport for him.

“At first, I wasn’t a fan, but it grew on me throughout the years,” Glynn said. “As a young kid, you’re thinking you want to run around all the time and baseball is a pretty slow-paced game.

“I was thinking fast and the game’s slow. As I grow older, my mind slows down a little bit and gets more in the groove of baseball.”

Glynn has been in a groove all spring. He kept it up Wednesday, going 4-for-4 with a home run, a triple and three RBIs to lift Richards to an 8-1 South Suburban Red win over host Argo in Summit.

Sean Cody pitched five shutout innings, striking out 11 and allowing just three hits to earn the win for the Bulldogs (14-4-1, 9-3). He also went 2-for-4 at the plate with a run and an RBI.

Brandon DeVivo finished 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI for Richards, while Carson Maranda added an RBI triple.

Frank Coglianese went 2-for-3 with an RBI double for Argo (11-13, 5-8). Julio Ruiz singled and walked and Scott Forston drew three walks.

Glynn, meanwhile, singled in each of his first two-at bats before ripping a two-run homer to right field in the fifth inning to give Richards a 5-0 lead. He added an RBI triple in the sixth.

Glynn is now hitting .462 with 30 RBIs.

“Neil’s been big the whole season,” Cody said. “It’s great having him in the three spot in the lineup. When I get on base, I know 95% of the time, I’m going to score on an RBI by Neil or he’ll move me over.”

Going back to those early days, Glynn said he was pretty much given no choice to keep trying baseball even when he wanted to quit.

“My parents forced me to play and I was pretty good, so they made me stick with it,” he said. “I’m glad I did.”

Glynn also played linebacker and defensive end for Richards. He didn’t play football until high school and noticed how much adding that sport to his repertoire aided him on the baseball field.

“Football helps me get bigger and stronger and that moves over to baseball,” he said. “It helps mentally, too. In football, you’re hitting each other. Baseball, you come into a sport with less contact but you’re thinking more aggressive than you usually would.”

Richards coach Jeff Kortz has seen Glynn develop into one of his team’s tone-setters.

“He’s grown,” Kortz said. “He’s become a leader for us. He’s vocal. Last year, he was more laid back and kind of earning his stripes as a junior. Now, he’s stepping up and talking and he’s doing a great job at the plate.”

Cody, who earned all-state honors last season, improved to 4-2 on the mound and lowered his ERA to 1.87. The junior right-hander pitched around six walks.

“I catch myself moving fast, a little too fast-paced,” Cody said of the lapses in control. “I just take a deep breath, walk around the mound a little bit and get myself back in the zone.”

Richards led just 2-0 heading into the fifth but pulled away with three runs in that inning, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Glynn was at the center of it all. He said the key for him is keeping things simple.

“Just pounding base hits,” Glynn said. “That’s all I think of. It’s just mindset. Base hits, base hits, base hits. Hit the ball where it’s thrown. Have a good swing and the ball will go where you’re swinging at.”